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Discussion: Earworms

in: Orienteering; Training & Technique

Jun 9, 2016 2:47 AM # 
It seems that anytime I go orienteering I get one song or another stuck in my head. It can be quite annoying and distracting as it pulls focus from my navigation. Does anyone else have this problem and do you have any solutions for it?
Jun 9, 2016 2:59 AM # 
I tend to get it more when out rogaining and it's usually a song I listened to within the previous 12hrs, so these days I tend to listen to something I don't mind having stuck in my head for an awfully long time right beforehand!
Jun 9, 2016 3:09 AM # 
I've had chants from the local soccer team (Go Timbers!) stuck in my head for weeks, and unfortunately the tempo of the chants match up with my running cadence.

Solutions...sleep and whiskey?
Jun 9, 2016 3:10 AM # 
Not "I'm a little Teapot" which is my usual earworm when swimming laps. This is probably why I don't swim often.
Jun 9, 2016 3:17 AM # 
Yes, I have this problem when orienteering (and other times as well). Usually something I heard on the radio on the way to the meet, but sometimes I'll get a song stuck in my head that I haven't heard for years. (And often don't know all the lyrics, so it'll be the same line or two going round and round.) When it's these older songs, it usually happens as soon as I wake up in the morning.

The other way around, when I hear these songs later they often remind me very clearly of particular meets or parks.
Jun 9, 2016 4:14 AM # 
Problem? You're doing it wrong. Pick a good song for your internal soundtrack. If it's not working, pick another. At this year's Billygoat, I had "All Along the Watchtower" running for two hours on the cranial Jukebox, though usually I go for instrumentals. Come to think of it, most of "Watchtower" was probably the guitar solo. So fine.
Jun 9, 2016 8:57 AM # 
That doesn't usually happen to me but it did once with unfortunate consequences.
1973 NAOC in the Gatineau Park, Ottawa. Two day total time championships with a chase start on the second day. Part way through the second day apparently I had a good lead but the song "Billy, Don't be a Hero" came in to my ear. I must have started running to the beat which was just not fast enough. That plus a poor route chose pushed me back to third place behind Bob Turbyfill and Ned Barton. Turns out I needed a song like "Shout, Shout, Knock Yourself Out", that plus a better route choice.
So kids, pick your internal sound track carefully.
Jun 9, 2016 9:38 AM # 
This happens to me often, especially when on "autopilot" and not having to push entirely all out or when nav task is not that challenging. I can't select or change song just like that and I have no idea where the song comes from. Last weekend in our national champs middle qualification race the song was "Pulp Fiction" In the final there was no songs, just pain instead for trying to go all-out all the way. It is not a much problem really for "autopilot" (old habits take over, doing about right things and never entirely wrong things, without having to think too much about it) and for song disappearing by itself when there is something challenging at hand to focus to.
Jun 9, 2016 12:04 PM # 
Gord it is 43 years ago, you need to move on!
Jun 9, 2016 12:42 PM # 
Move on? Why? As my old boys rugby team motto goes "The older we get the better we were." Or is it "Semper in Excretia"?

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